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Five More Coronavirus Cases In State Prison System

Prisoners crowding around a table
Florida Department of Corrections
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The Florida Department of Corrections announced Wednesday that a Central Florida inmate and four prison workers tested positive for COVID-19, as the number of cases continues to increase in the state prison system.

The Florida Department of Corrections announced Wednesday that a Central Florida inmate and four prison workers tested positive for COVID-19, as the number of cases continues to increase in the state prison system.

The inmate diagnosed with the highly contagious virus is housed at Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell.

A corrections worker has also tested positive for the virus at the facility, officials said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, five inmates and 41 corrections workers who work at 20 prisons and four probation offices had tested positive for the virus, the corrections department said in a news release.

Corrections officials say they are taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

New inmates are placed in a 14-day quarantine at prisons, the temperatures of inmates who are in medical quarantine are taken twice daily and inmates in the general prison population can request temperature checks, the department said in an email Wednesday morning.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, however, won’t reveal the number of inmates and staff members who have been tested or the number of inmates who have been placed in medical isolation.

In addition to the cases within the state prison system, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of an inmate who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The sheriff’s office said in a news release that the elderly inmate died Tuesday at a hospital.

The inmate was arrested in mid-March and taken to the hospital on March 31 to get treatment for an illness unrelated to COVID-19.

The inmate tested positive for the virus on April 1 while at the hospital, the sheriff’s office said. While no foul play is suspected, homicide detectives are investigating the death.